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underwater view of sea turtle and striped fish

Overview

A truly unforgettable adventure

The Galápagos archipelago may be considered the jewel in the crown of Ecuador, but it’s just one of many treasures to be found in this tiny country. Its capital city, Quito, has one of the best-preserved historic centers in the Americas and is a melting pot of South American cultures.

And Ecuador’s crown jewel? Sitting some 500 miles off the coast are the Galápagos Islands where animals far outnumber people and can be observed from just a few feet away. Our small expedition ship, the National Geographic Islander, is the perfect vessel for exploring their world, by panga, kayak, while snorkeling or hiking. Join us to discover Ecuador’s world-renowned chain of islands AND its fascinating mainland!

Dates

June 21–29, 2022

Duration

9 days

Price

From $9,995 per person

Trip size

40 participants

Minimum age

12 years

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Bill Durham

Anthropology and Human Biology

An enthusiastic and innovative educator, Bill's lectures cover the ecology, evolution, and conservation of the world's most unusual flora and fauna in Galápagos.

Itinerary

Journey to Darwin’s classroom

Start with a day of touring in the capital city, Quito, then head to the Galápagos to explore the diverse islands: sea lions and frigate birds on San Cristóbal, finches and boobies on Española, and giant tortoises on Santa Cruz.

  • Quito, Ecuador

    Arrive in Quito and transfer to our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Casa Gangotena

  • Quito

    After breakfast, set out on a walking tour of the capital city’s old town. Walk the streets of colonial Quito, stopping at Independence Plaza, the presidential palace and the monastery of San Francisco, one of the most impressive religious buildings in the New World. Following lunch enjoy an afternoon on your own to rest and acclimate to the 9,350-foot altitude. You might choose a siesta or café quiteño (high tea) at our hotel. This evening attend a lecture before a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel’s highly acclaimed restaurant.

    Accommodations:

    Casa Gangotena

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Quito / Santa Cruz Island

    Transfer to the airport after breakfast for our flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos where we connect to Santa Cruz Island. In the city of Puerto Ayora visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about programs dedicated to breeding and rearing giant tortoises and to understand the efforts and results of Galápagos biology fieldwork. Check in to our hotel in time for dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today drive into the highlands for a hike at Los Gemelos, enormous twin craters surrounded by verdant foliage, including the endemic Scalesia trees. Here you can spot a variety of the emblematic Darwin’s finches. Look for giant land tortoises as we drive back to Puerto Ayora for some free time before embarking our ship.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • San Cristóbal Island

    Today we disembark at the eastern tip of San Cristóbal Island for a hike offering spectacular views of the shoreline, where three species of boobies are found. Observe frigate birds fluttering their red gular pouches and catch sight of a colony of bachelor sea lions. Following lunch enjoy a panga boat ride along shores lined with banks of tuff-stone layers to reach Cerro Brujo’s wide white coral beach. These are the same shores Darwin walked upon in September 1835.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • San Cristóbal Island

    This morning continue our exploration of San Cristóbal Island, passing by oft-photographed León Dormido islet. After lunch we land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive to Cerro Colorado on the island’s southern shore to the breeding center of endangered giant tortoises. The surrounding deciduous forest is home to dozens of bird species, as well as two species that are endemic to this island, the San Cristóbal mockingbird and the San Cristóbal lava lizard.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Española Island

    Our morning stop at Gardner Bay on Española Island includes a short jaunt to admire the sea lions, mockingbirds and finches with plenty of time to enjoy the beach. Partake in the area’s great snorkeling or traverse the water by kayak or paddleboard. This afternoon at Punta Suarez, take a walk on lava and boulder terrain to gaze at sea bird colonies, including the waved albatross, boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, and the island’s famous blowhole, a geological formation.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Floreana Island

    Venture to the olivine-tinted beach at Punta Cormorant this morning for a walk across the isthmus past a shallow lagoon that flamingos frequent. Later wander around Champion Islet via panga, kayak or paddleboard, or snorkel in its waters. In the afternoon head to Post Office Bay, where you can drop postcards in the historic barrel that has served as a de facto mailbox for more than two centuries. Learn about the colorful history of the area, as well as the story of how visitors take mail from the barrel and deliver it all over the world today.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Baltra Island / Disembark / Guayaquil / Home

    After breakfast disembark our ship on Baltra Island and fly to Guayaquil, where we check in to our day rooms. Rest and relax before transferring independently to the airport for flights home.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

aerial view of sea and island

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

ship at sea with raft and seagulls
Category 1

Cabins on Main Deck with two single beds, which can convert to a queen-size bed, and a window

Average square feet: 124

Cabins: 201–206

Double: $9,995 per person

Single: $12,905 per person

Category 2

Centrally located cabins on Main Deck and Bridge Deck with two single beds, which can convert to a queen-size bed, and a window

Average square feet: 124

Cabins: 207–210, 301, 302

Double: $10,865 per person

Single: $14,125 per person

Category 3

Conveniently located cabins on Bridge Deck with two single beds, which can convert to a queen-size bed, and a window

Average square feet: 128

Cabins: 303–306

Double: $11,575 per person

Category 4

Spacious cabins on the Upper Deck with two single beds, which can convert to a queen-size bed, a window and an outside glassed-in terrace with seating

Average square feet: 125

Cabins: 403–408

Double: $11,985 per person

Category 5

Deluxe cabins on the Upper Deck with two single beds, which can convert to a queen-size bed, wraparound windows, an outside glassed-in terrace with seating, a desk, chairs and a table

Average square feet: 199

Cabins: 401, 402

Double: $13,615 per person

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